Do Bodies Matter?: Stone, water, light, skin and material performativity in Therme Vals
Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
The following text is a study of non-normative gender positions and sexualities in the architecture of the senses proposing and encouraging a new way of thinking about the built environment in terms of gender. My assumption is that a change in the way that we think about gender in the theory, practice and education of architecture also will affect the way we think about gender in relation to bodies. By showing that what we usually take for granted as a symbol for male masculinity in the expression of architectural space due to essentialist ideas about gender, can just as well be interpreted as a form of female masculinity, or an expression of butchness, my aim is to disrupt, dislocate and resignify patriarchal and heterosexist norms. I also touch briefly upon the construction of gender and racialization of sexuality within female masculinity in terms other than sex, such as class, race and ethnicity.
In an architectural analysis of Peter Zumthor’s bathhouse in Vals, Switzerland, I apply a newly constructed methodology, what I call non-essential phenomenology, joining aspects of both phenomenological ideas and post-structural thought based on texts by Juhani Pallasmaa and Judith Butler. Within this methodology, I devise several new concepts such as transmateria, material performativity, and sexual material performativity which are necessary for analyzing both the performative aspects of matter and the materialization of gender in bodies. By showing that more than one interpretation exists in the way we create and inhabit space, I present the possibility of shifting and resignifying earlier assumptions about sex/gender, dismantling essentialist thinking and disrupting heteronormative trends, while retaining the materiality of matter and body to create spaces which benefit all bodies, genders and sexualities.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
centrum för genusstudier , 2007. , 59 p.
architecture, gender, butch, body, matter
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-6883OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-6883DiVA: diva2:197264
Laskar, Pia, Fil. Dr
Gemzöe, Lena, Fil. Dr